‘Wokescolds’ are individuals who identify as ‘woke’ and spend their time castigating anyone who isn’t as woke as them. Some wokescolds prefer religious moralizing over any other kind, lambasting large swaths of the population for identifying with a set of religious principles without being woke enough to do so.
Mayor Pete’s Religious Wokescolding
Recently, Pete Buttigieg took it upon himself to woke-scold Christian GOP supporters:
“[O]ur party doesn’t talk about that [religion] as much, largely for a very good reason, which is that we’re very committed to the separation of church and state, and we stand for people of any religion and no religion. But we should call out hypocrisy when we see it….[F]or a party that associates itself with Christianity to say that it is OK, to suggest that God would smile at the division of families…that God would condone putting children in cages, has lost all claim to ever use religious language….”
The obvious subtext?
Using Christian language requires a level of wokeness that we’ve achieved and Republicans haven’t. In fact, the Republicans aren’t just ‘unwoke’—they’re heartless.
He similarly bashed Mike Pence for his views on homosexuality a few months earlier, “[I]f you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my Creator.” Subtext? Pence isn’t as woke as the God He worships. But I am.
Dealing with Religious Wokescolds
Christian conservatives need not (and ought not) stay silent in the face of religious wokescolding. Here are three ways to respond:
1. Disassemble the Rhetoric
Identify the key claims being made. In Buttigieg’s case, he makes at least four claims:
(i) Democrats represent both religious and non-religious communities;
(ii) Republicans associate themselves with Christianity;
(iii) Republicans believe that God approves of the inhumane conditions at the border; and
(iv) Claims (ii) and (iii) combined show Republicans to be hypocrites.
Next, ask, “How many of these claims are true?” This will help distill those criticisms worth taking seriously from the superfluous straw-men/ad-hominems designed to draw strong emotions from the woke. I will leave it to my capable readers to figure which of the four claims are (obviously) false, showing Buttigieg’s attack to be a mixture of bad faith comments and blatant grandstanding. This makes it easier to explain why the woke-scold fails as a meaningful critique.
(For a reasonable conservative response to the admittedly inhumane border conditions, see here.)
2. Identify the Biblical Context
Buttigieg did not appeal to the Bible in the above tirade, but religious wokescolds often do, attempting to score political points with ‘open-minded’ Christians. Consider this article titled ‘The Biblical Values of Ocasio-Cortez’s Democratic Socialism,’ which alleges that several verses in the Bible entail that true Bible-believing Christians ought to endorse AOC’s socialist policies.
Christian conservatives responding to such wokescolds must turn to the Bible and examine whether the verses were appealed to in their context. As biblical scholar Ben Witherington III explains, “A text without a context is just a pretext for what we want it to mean.”
This happens to be the case in the AOC article. Consider the following quote:
“Jesus modeled universal health care by healing everyone who asked, regardless of their gender, nationality or ability to pay. “Great multitudes followed him,” mostly poor peasants, “and he healed them all” (Matthew 12:15).”
A quick look at the context shows that the narrative has nothing to do with promoting universal healthcare. In addition, Jesus clearly articulated His reasons for performing miracles on several occasions—to authenticate His divinity and to invite belief in Him. Nothing about doing miracles ‘just to help everybody.’
To selectively quote the words of Christ to suit one’s political purposes, whether by a liberal or conservative, is unquestionably deceitful and worth calling out.
3. Expose Inconsistencies
In their zeal to virtue-signal, wokescolds often ignore the brazen inconsistencies between the content of their woke-scolds and other positions they hold to. Buttigieg’s case is a paradigmatic one.
As Peter Heck observes, Buttigieg seems ready to snipe at Christian conservatives for not taking a firm ‘Christian’ stance on the border issue, citing his favorite verse that asks us to care for ‘the least of these,’ but refuses to take a stand on the killing of the unborn. In that case, he refuses to comment because he’s a male and because he ‘trusts’ women to ‘draw the line’.
Alexandra DeSanctis is right. Buttigieg is a moral tactician. He uses religion as a sledgehammer against his political opponents, but shrinks away when it condemns what he and his party stand for. Quite ironic, given his tirade against hypocrisy on the other side.
But that is all wokescoldery is: A thinly-veiled facade of hypocritical self-righteousness.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.